Taupo Street Art

Graffiato: Taupo Street Art Festival returns over Labour weekend and 10 more walls will be turned into works of art. It’s the 8th year of the festival in 2018 and the current street art trail map (downloadable via the link above) helps you find 30 of the art works that have been created over the years.

New Zealand has some captivating street art and sometimes I think I’ve found a favourite art work or artist and then around the next corner – ‘wow, another favourite’. In Taupo it was more ‘bow wow’ as it was the realism of the dogs … Read the rest

Te Puia, Rotorua

Te Puia combines Maori culture, our national icon – the kiwi bird, and geothermal activity on the city’s doorstep, 3km from Rotorua centre.

Visit during the day to spot the two brown kiwi in the Kiwi House and see geothermal features including the naturally erupting Pohutu geyser. Watch Maori carvers and weavers at work, and walk onto Rotowhio marae with its carved wharenui (meeting houses) and pataka (storehouse). Cost – from $54 per adult (add on options available). (Discount for New Zealand residents and locals).

Pataka (elevated storehouse) at Te Puia in Rotorua

Pataka (elevated storehouse) at Te Puia in Rotorua

The evening experience adds more Maori … Read the rest

Lake Okareka Walkway, Rotorua

Lake Okareka Walkway is around 5.5 km return. The first 2km to Silver Beach is flat and easy going, the last .5km or so to the Okareka outlet requires some uphill climbing  including stairs.

The last .5km of the track is narrower, it’s not too difficult but it’s not accessible for pushchairs and wheelchairs. It took us about 2 hours return to do the walk but we dilly dallied watching birds with binoculars and taking photos.

Two pukekos in a paddock - Lake Okareka Walkway

Two pukekos in a paddock – Lake Okareka Walkway

Lake Okareka Walkway starts on Acacia Road where you will find a car park and … Read the rest

Govett-Brewster Art Gallery / Len Lye Centre, New Plymouth

The exterior of the Len Lye Centre in New Plymouth is eye catching and impressive. The 14 metre tall structure is made of concrete clad with stainless steel. The curved stainless steel reflects and plays with light making the outside of the centre an art piece in itself, and probably the most photographed building in Taranaki.

Exterior of Len Lye Centre/Govett Brewster Gallery

Exterior of Len Lye Centre/Govett Brewster Gallery

Who was Len Lye? 
Christchurch born Len Lye (1901-1980) was an artist who made films, wrote poetry and painted, he also became known for his kinetic sculptures. Len Lye spent most of his life overseas, his connection … Read the rest

Herd of Morrinsville?

If not, Morrinsville is a small town in the Waikato that’s big on cows – farming them and turning them into street art to help tell the story of the town’s history and heritage.

Herd of Heathcotes painted by Helen Rowlands (39)

Herd of Heathcotes painted by Helen Rowlands (39)

The Herd of Cows? website has a street art trail map so you can find the 48 members of the colourful herd and read about the artists that painted them. Some of the art work on the cows is wonderfully whimsical, and one of the cows is a whopper – Mabel the 6.5 metre tall mega cow stands … Read the rest

Curious Clocks in New Zealand

Maybe I have too much time on my hands, but after seeing the neat historical clock in the Old Bank Arcade in Wellington I thought I’d look for other curious clocks around the country. There’s no better place to start than a clock museum …..

Claphams Clock Museum, Town Basin, Whangarei
Claphams Clock Museum in Whangarei has over 1600 clocks and timepieces. The collection was started in 1961 when the Whangarei City Council paid a token sum for 400 clocks belonging to local man Archibald Clapham.

Gymnast alarm clock at Claphams Clock Museum

Gymnast alarm clock at Claphams Clock Museum

Archibald was an aspiring clock-maker turned clock … Read the rest

Mills Reef Winery, Tauranga

Tauranga isn’t grape growing country so Mills Reef Winery is an unexpected find. The art deco Mills Reef Winery building gives a clue though as to where the grapes used to make the wines are grown – Hawkes Bay. Red wines are a specialty at Mills Reef and their Reserve Cabernet Merlot 2016 won a trophy award at the Royal Easter Show Wine Awards this year. There’s a tasting room onsite so before taking a seat for a meal you can taste some of the wines to help you decide what to order from the wine menu.

We like to … Read the rest

Has Banksy been in Rotorua?

Probably not. However I spent some time Googling phrases like ‘How do you know if it’s a genuine Banksy?’ before I came to that conclusion. It was fascinating reading, if you find the real deal on a wall here’s some of what you’re likely to need – 24 hour security, a diamond chainsaw, a team of art curators and builders, and a lot of money to pay for it all.

Power Trippin - Banksy-esque art work in Rotorua

Power Trippin – Banksy-esque art work in Rotorua

How do you know if you’ve found a genuine Banksy? A couple of tips – Banksy’s work is painted in busy areas … Read the rest